Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bordering Issues

Time to work on my Spiderweb quilt again. It's been sitting for a year already. My plan was to create an applique vine... using only yardage on hand. Although I rarely applique, it always attracts me. Some of my earliest quilts were appliqued. But that was years ago.

Lack of practice increased my hesitation; however, Audrey at Quilty Folk creates such attractive work I made a vow to try again. She suggested six to ten inches for appliqué borders. Any more narrow and it's hard to have curves in the vines. In my case, nine inches sounds best. After all, it can always be cut down but very difficult to weave more fabric together.

I pulled several fabrics in light blues. This micro gingham is my favorite. With less than two yards it won't extend to all sides. In fact, it will only finish two sides with six-inch borders.


This mottled sky fabric looked great in the stash but slightly off color when next to other fabric. That's exactly why it has been in storage. Perhaps it would improve if combined with some others.



Free Spirit made this newer toile with leaves and birds. There are two different rows of birds which might cover three sides but... no appliqué.

Testing bird print toile as a border.

I decided to cut the toile and pin it against the spiderwebs. Even if it's not used here, this would be the cutting width for anything else. Maybe.
An inner border improves things. This pink string from my scrap bag is too wide. {Good thing. That's all there is.}


Eventually I tried some lighter fabrics. These are two yardages from the stash {as opposed to scrap strings.} Using lighter colors for the inner border might emphasize an applique vine. {Even though the toile stands in for the outer border, I'm still trying to figure out how to applique a vine.


Making haste slowly.

Enjoy the day,
Ann

28 comments:

  1. I did an applique vine around a watercolor valentine quilt. I made my own bias strips with fusible on the back and pressed it into service. My quilt was pretty large so I did the bias strip at about 3/8" then added the flowers and leaves. It worked great.
    On the other hand, why not let the border fabric toile do the work? It looks quite nice on the border as is with the yellow strip. Save the vine for another work? LeeAnna

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    1. That sounds interesting. I'm planning to use either Gwen and Freddy's method (fold and baste) or Lara's (Crafted Applique) to make bias strips. 3/8" is what I thought, too. It's tempting to use the toile only but there's not enough. It won't go around all four sides. So I'll have to be inventive.
      Thanks for the advice! Very helpful as I face things I haven't tried in a long while.

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  2. Do you have something with more yellow? it really seems to be a color that highlights the center. If not, I agree the yellow inner border and the toile.

    It is a beautiful combination of colors.

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    1. I hadn't considered yellow; been overly focused on blues. I'll have to see what I have. Thanks for the great idea.

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  3. Maybe contrast, light inner, dark outer or vice versa?
    Fun decisions.

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    1. That's what I usually do but I'm wondering if the vine and leaves will act as the "dark" and the background as the "light." Then I worried that the inner border could end up fighting with the vine. That's when a lighter, lower contrast inner border might help. Still lots to consider. Thanks for the help, Janie. I need it.

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  4. Love that Free Spirit fabric, I have some of that collection, but not that exact one. My preference is for a pink inner border (a receding cool pink like your scrap there), and then just piece the bird fabric as felicitously as you can, and it will be done. It supports but doesn't compete with all the beautiful spiderwebs, and I actually think applique would be too much. The eye needs somewhere to rest. Almost done!

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    1. I'd have to look for more fabric to get the toile around all four sides. I guess that's possible. But I still want to try something different. Every time I get to this point I chicken out. Time to try something and get over the fear.
      You're right. The eye needs a place to rest. More to consider. Thanks, Monica!

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  5. Lots of lovely colour in your spider web and I think the Free Spirit fabric looks so good as a border.

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. I think the toile looks amazingly good, too.

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  6. Oh, gosh...no advice from me. I can never decide about borders so usually don't have them on my quilts and piece more blocks instead since I love piecing blocks. A good border adds a lot to quilts, though, and you are right about Audrey's applique and borders...they are inspiring. I'm not an applique person either but really would like to try some vines and leaves sometime too. Good luck. Anxious to see what happens. I love that toile.

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    1. I add borders frequently. This spiderweb uses all the background blue print I had. It's not big enough to suit. That's where the border Idea started. Drooling over Audrey's beautiful ideas has me inspired to create something like hers. Thanks for the comment. We are much alike. Piecing is my favorite, too.

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  7. I too love Audrey's borders but not the applique that they require! I like the bird fabric with a thin border a lot; if you don't use it here (and I can see why you might want to persist in finding the right background for applique) I hope to see it on another quilt soon.

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    1. Her borders are exciting to me but I'm not sure how my successful applique will turn out. Unlike Audrey, I'm planning to try machine applique. But I sure like the bird toile, too.

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  8. The only thing I might add is that if you go with a border but no applique, any fabric of any width will do. I have actually made ano applique border before even starting a quilt. It's crazy but I had to try a technique and didn't have a quilt, so I appliqued a border and eventually made a quilt for it. That was before I knew all of the rules. :)

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    1. That's good advice. I don't have lots of yardage and now see how that works against me for applique. I was planning to add the border and then applique it. Not sure what the rules are any more.

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  9. First off - who said that all four borders need to be from the same background fabric?!? Perhaps two sides of one and top/bottom of another or top/side 1 and then bottom/side 2 - going that route also removes a bit of the push for perfection in the appliqué vines -- looser, free'er, and more liberated . . . and I much prefer Freddy's and Gwen's bias method - I've used it many times and it has never failed me (and the border I used it on I used a narrow machine zig zag stitch with clear thread for application rather than hand stitching since my thumb joint hates hand work).

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    1. You're right, Julie. But I didn't realize how little yardage I have in my stash. I'm looking at two or three different sides now. Thanks for the advice about machine applique. I know I'll never get hand applique done. Like you, my joints went haywire when I tried her Quilty365 circles this year.

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  10. I am really enjoying watching the progress of this quilt...can't wait for the big finished reveal!!

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    1. You are so kind, Mel. Don't hold your breath; there's lots to do still.

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  11. The applique border I did I made 10 inches, then I could cut four borders from the length of the fabric.

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    1. I will remember this for next time, Kate. I could still buy material but have so much in my stash it seems silly not to use it first.

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  12. This is going to be beautiful. Enjoying watching your process.

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    1. That's so kind of you, Em. I love this light blue background.

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  13. The toile looks absolutely perfect; like it was designed to go with your spiderweb blocks. I'm imagining some of the border done in appliqued vines to tie it all together and think it will look fabulous Ann!
    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. Hope you get to cuddle your little Warren! I bet he's as big as Eden. ;)

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    1. Yes, darn it. I wanted to make all applique borders but guess it's lucky since there's not enough of anything to go around it all. Time to get creative. And yes, part toile and part applique seems to be the answer.
      I saw the sweetie at Thanksgiving. He is getting big and very determined to have his own way at all times.
      Merry Christmas.

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  14. Hmm, how about cutting out the birds for applique? I'm sure you'll have made the right decision by now though! That Free Spirit does look pretty darn perfect - the colours are so good with the spider's web.

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    1. How did I miss your remark, Stephie? Cutting birds was what I chose, partly from seeing the lovely birds on your blog cover. And you're right, the background of the spiderwebs and the Free Spirit were purchased more than 10 years apart but almost look dyed to match. Who'd have thought?

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